General provisions about regulations
42 Regulations under this Part of this Schedule may contain such incidental,
supplementary and transitional provision as appears to the Inland Revenue
to be appropriate.
Entry with warrant to obtain evidence of offence
Power to issue warrant
43 (1) The appropriate judicial authority, if satisfied on information on oath given
by an officer of the Board that—
(a) there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence involving
serious fraud in connection with, or in relation to, tax is being, has
been or is about to be committed and that evidence of it is to be found
on premises specified in the information, and
(b) in applying under this paragraph the officer acts with the approval
of the Board given in relation to the particular case,
may issue a warrant in writing authorising an officer of the Board to enter
the premises, if necessary by force, at any time within 14 days from the time
of issue of the warrant, and search them.
(2) The appropriate judicial authority is—
(a) in England and Wales, a circuit judge;
(b) in Scotland, a sheriff;
(c) in Northern Ireland, a county court judge.
(3) Where in Scotland the information relates to premises situated in different
(a) petitions for the issue of warrants in respect of all the premises to
which the information relates may be made to the sheriff for a
sheriffdom in which any of the premises is situated, and
(b) where the sheriff issues a warrant in respect of premises situated in
his own sheriffdom, he shall also have jurisdiction to issue warrants
in respect of all or any of the other premises to which the information
This does not affect any power or jurisdiction of a sheriff to issue a warrant
in respect of an offence committed within his own sheriffdom.
Meaning of offence involving serious fraud
44 (1) An offence that involves fraud is for the purposes of this Part of this
Schedule an offence involving serious fraud if its commission has led, or is
intended or likely to lead, either—
(a) to substantial financial gain to any person, or
(b) to serious prejudice to the proper assessment or collection of tax.
(2) An offence that, if considered alone, would not be regarded as involving
serious fraud may nevertheless be so regarded if there is reasonable ground
for suspecting that it forms part of a course of conduct that is, or but for its
detection would be, likely to result in serious prejudice to the proper
assessment or collection of tax.
(3) Sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) are without prejudice to the general concept of
Approval of application by Board
45 (1) The Board shall not approve an application for a warrant under this Part of
this Schedule unless they have reasonable grounds for believing that use of
the procedure under Part 6 of this Schedule (order for delivery of
documents) might seriously prejudice the investigation.
(2) Section 4A of the Inland Revenue Regulation Act 1890 (c. 21) (Board’s
functions exercisable by an officer acting under their authority) does not
apply to the giving of Board approval under this paragraph.
Extent of powers conferred by warrant
46 The powers conferred by a warrant under this Part of this Schedule are not
(a) by more than such number of officers of the Board as may be
specified in the warrant,
(b) outside such times of day as may be so specified, and
(c) if the warrant so provides, otherwise than in the presence of a
constable in uniform.
Exercise of powers conferred by warrant
47 (1) An officer of the Board seeking to exercise the powers conferred by a
warrant under this Part of this Schedule or, if there is more than one such
officer, the one who is in charge of the search—
(a) if the occupier of the premises concerned is present at the time the
search is to begin, shall supply a copy of the warrant endorsed with
his name to the occupier;
(b) if at that time the occupier is not present but a person who appears
to the officer to be in charge of the premises is present, shall supply
such a copy to that person; and
(c) if neither paragraph (a) nor paragraph (b) applies, shall leave such a
copy in a prominent place on the premises.
(2) An officer who enters the premises under the authority of a warrant under
this Part of this Schedule may—
(a) take with him such other persons as appear to him to be necessary,
(b) seize and remove any things whatsoever found there that he has
reasonable cause to believe may be required as evidence for the
purposes of proceedings in respect of such an offence as is
mentioned in paragraph 43(1), and
(c) search or cause to be searched any person found on the premises
whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be in possession of such
But no person shall be searched except by a person of the same sex.
(3) In the case of information contained in a computer that—
(a) an officer who enters the premises as mentioned in sub-paragraph
(2) has reasonable cause to believe may be required as evidence for
the purposes mentioned in paragraph (b) of that sub-paragraph, and
(b) is accessible from the premises,
the power of seizure under that sub-paragraph includes a power to require
the information to be produced in a form in which it can be taken away and
in which it is visible and legible.
Items subject to legal privilege
48 (1) Nothing in this Part of this Schedule authorises the seizure of items subject
to legal privilege.
(2) Items “subject to legal privilege” means—
(a) communications between a professional legal adviser and his client
or any person representing his client made in connection with the
giving of legal advice to the client;
(b) communications between a professional legal adviser and his client
or any person representing his client, or between such an adviser or
his client or any such representative and any other person, made in
connection with or in contemplation of legal proceedings and for the
purposes of such proceedings;
(c) items enclosed with or referred to in such communications and
(i) in connection with the giving of legal advice, or
(ii) in connection with or in contemplation of legal proceedings
and for the purposes of such proceedings,
when they are in possession of a person entitled to possession of
(3) Items held with the intention of furthering a criminal purpose are not subject
to legal privilege.
Procedure where documents etc are removed
49 (1) An officer of the Board who removes anything in the exercise of the powers
conferred by this Part of this Schedule shall, if so requested by a person
(a) to be the occupier of the premises from which it was removed, or
(b) to have had custody or control of it immediately before the removal,
provide that person with a record of what he removed.
(2) The officer of the Board shall provide the record within a reasonable time
from the making of the request for it.
Document not to be retained if photograph or copy sufficient
50 Where anything that has been removed by an officer of the Board as
mentioned in paragraph 49 is of such a nature that a photograph or copy of
it would be sufficient—
(a) for use as evidence at a trial for an offence, or
(b) for forensic examination or for investigation in connection with an
it shall not be retained longer than is necessary to establish that fact and to
obtain the photograph or copy.
Access to or supply of photograph or copy of items removed
51 (1) If a request for permission to be granted access to anything that—
(a) has been removed by an officer of the Board, and
(b) is retained by the Board for the purposes of investigating an offence,
is made to the officer in overall charge of the investigation by a person who
had custody or control of the thing immediately before it was so removed or
by someone acting on behalf of any such person, the officer shall allow the
person who made the request access to it under the supervision of an officer
of the Board.
(2) If a request for a photograph or copy of any such thing is made to the officer
in overall charge of the investigation by a person who has custody or control
of the thing immediately before it was so removed, or by someone acting on
behalf of any such person, the officer shall—
(a) allow the person who made the request access to it under the
supervision of an officer of the Board for the purpose of
photographing or copying it, or
(b) photograph or copy it, or cause it to be photographed or copied.
(3) Where anything is photographed or copied under sub-paragraph (2)(b) the
photograph or copy shall be supplied to the person who made the request.
(4) The photograph or copy shall be supplied within a reasonable time from the
making of the request.
(5) There is no duty under this paragraph to grant access to, or to supply a
photograph or copy of, anything if the officer in overall charge of the
investigation for the purposes of which it was removed has reasonable
grounds for believing that to do so would prejudice—
(a) that investigation,
(b) the investigation of an offence other than the offence for the purposes
of the investigation of which the thing was removed, or
(c) any criminal proceedings that may be brought as a result of—
(i) the investigation of which he is in charge, or
(ii) any such investigation as is mentioned in paragraph (b).
(6) The references in this paragraph to the officer in overall charge of the
investigation is to the person whose name and address are endorsed on the
warrant concerned as being the officer so in charge.
Endorsement and custody etc of warrant
52 (1) Where entry has been made with a warrant under this Part of this Schedule,
and the officer making the entry has seized any things under the authority
of the warrant, he shall endorse on or attach to the warrant a list of the things
(2) The following provisions (which relate to return, retention and inspection of
warrants), that is—
(a) in England and Wales, section 16(10) to (12) of the Police and
Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60), and
(b) in Northern Ireland, Article 18(10) to (12) of the Police and Criminal
Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (S.I. 1989/1341 (N.I. 12)),
apply to a warrant under this Part of this Schedule (together with any list
endorsed on or attached to it under sub-paragraph (1)) as they apply to a
warrant issued to a constable under any enactment.
Falsification etc of documents
Falsification etc of documents
53 (1) A person commits an offence if he intentionally—
(a) falsifies, conceals, destroys or otherwise disposes of, or
(b) causes or permits the falsification, concealment, destruction or
a document to which this paragraph applies.
(2) This paragraph applies to any document that the person—
(a) has been required by a notice under Part 1, 2, 3 or 5 of this Schedule,
or an order under Part 6 of this Schedule, to deliver, or to deliver or
make available for inspection, or
(b) has been given an opportunity in accordance with paragraph 1(3),
6(3), 11(3) or 14(3) to deliver, or to deliver or make available for
(3) A person does not commit an offence under this paragraph if he acts—
(a) with the written permission of a General or Special Commissioner or
an officer of the Board,
(b) after the document has been delivered or, in a case within Part 2 of
this Schedule, inspected, or
(c) after a copy has been delivered in accordance with paragraph 23(1)
or 27(3) and the original has been inspected.
(4) A person does not commit an offence under this paragraph as it applies by
virtue of sub-paragraph (2)(a) if he acts after the end of the period of two
years beginning with the date on which the notice is given or the order is
made, unless before the end of that period an officer of the Board has
notified the person, in writing, that the notice or order has not been complied
with to his satisfaction.
(5) A person does not commit an offence under this paragraph as it applies by
virtue of sub-paragraph (2)(b) if he acts—
(a) after the end of the period of six months beginning with the date on
which an opportunity to deliver the document was given, or
(b) after an application for consent to a notice being given in relation to
the document has been refused.
(6) A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding two years or a fine or to both.